During one’s pregnancy, the baby is similar to a parasite, and will take all the nutrients that she requires from the mother. If the diet of the pregnant mom is sufficient for both, it should not cause any problems. Otherwise, it will take longer for the mother to recover after giving birth, and she may remain weak for a very long time, especially if she does not eat well during her confinement period. This is why the elderly always make so much fuss out of having healthy diet during the confinement period.
For the Chinese, it is a traditional practice using food as a form of therapy during the confinement period. This is for the purpose of replenishing the strengths and revitalizing the general health of the new mother. The Chinese confinement food is particularly prepared for the purpose of overcoming the ‘weakened’ postnatal condition, such as backaches, body “wind”, hair loss, fatigue, as well as anaemia. Besides, certain confinement recipes are used particularly for breastfeeding mothers for lactation and breast milk boosting purposes. Examples are papaya soup and fish soup. Other commonly used ingredients in the Chinese culture include old ginger, sesame oil, vinegar, rice wine, red dates, black fungus, angelica (dang-gui), wolfberry (gei-ji ) and many more.
Food to avoid during confinement period
In the Asian confinement practice, cold or cooling foods are by all means to be avoided as it is believed that the body is cold after childbirth. This applies to all the three main races in Malaysia, namely the Malay, Chinese and the Indian. However, what is considered ‘healthy’ may be regarded as ‘cooling’ for another, which increases the dilemma. The best option is to try different types of healthy food as long as your culture permitted, and learn to substitute the ingredients wherever possible to suit your taste. Below are some general guidelines on the types of food to be avoided during confinement period:
- Cooling food such as cucumber, cabbage, banana, cold drinks, etc. are to be avoided as these foods are believed to cause poor blood circulation as well as stomach ache in the baby if you are breastfeeding.
- Acidic food such as lime, lemon, pineapple and mango as they will contribute to an excessive lochia in the mother and diarrhea in the baby.
- Windy food such as jackfruit, pumpkin, onions, etc. which will result in indigestion in both the mother and the baby.
Below are important pointers for:
If you decide to breastfeed your baby, then what you eat will be passed on to the baby through your breast milk. As such, it is important that you eat a balanced diet so that your baby will get the right nutrients for her growth and development. It is advisable to take at least 300-500 calories of diet in a day if you are breastfeeding your baby regularly. Starting weight loss diet straight after child birth is always not recommended by any confinement nanny or healthcare practitioner as this will affect the delivery of nutrients to the breastfeeding baby. If you can afford to hire an experienced confinement nanny, she will prepare the right and healthy food that can help weight loss and at the same provide sufficient nutrients for both mother and baby.
For a breastfeeding mother, drinking plenty of fluids is crucial to generate sufficient breast milk for the new-born. Besides, research has found that consuming virgin coconut oil will help boost the production of breast milk. Coconut oil and its products contain lauric acid which will significantly increase the content of lauric and capric acids in breast milk. This will also help to increase antimicrobial and immune boosting properties, while promoting both brain and bone development in the infant.
If you choose to bottle-feed your baby or you cannot breastfeed for some reasons, this doesn’t means that you can neglect your diet or to eat very little in order to lose weight quickly. Healthy food and sufficient nutrients are required to allow your body to heal from child birth and the post-pregnancy. Eating a well-balanced, healthy diet will naturally help you to lose weight. It will also help you to keep your energy level high so that you are able to get through the challenge of raising an infant. If you are very concern about losing the extra pounds that you have gained during pregnancy, why don’t you try to consume virgin coconut oil? Research has found that coconut oil stimulates metabolism and supports healthy weight loss. It is also an excellent appetite control when you consume the oil before meals.
Whether you plan to breastfeed or bottle-feed, it is crucial to ensure your food intake is as healthy as possible during your confinement period. Having an experienced confinement nanny on board will certainly make this easier, to balance the needs for your healthy recovery and baby care. Our experienced confinement nanny will be able to look after the food choices and food preparation for you for your healthy post-delivery recovery.